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Football Season Preview: Rocky River Ravens

By Andrew Stark

Opening Act

The Ravens are replacing dynamic playmakers on both sides of the ball, but especially on defense and along both lines. Offensively, the Ravens have their usual stash of skill guys, but must get their offensive line in order in a hurray to give them time and space to operate. Defensively there are a lot of holes to fill as all 12 of the team’s top tacklers have moved on, but lots of talent is on the roster to help offset the losses.


ITyshawn Carter returns to Rocky River after beginning last season as South Meck’s starting quarterback before breaking his collarbone. Carter is a dual-threat talent and has plenty of skills to lead the Raven offense. As a freshman, Carter guided Rocky River’s JV team to the conference title, so he’s had success in the system.

Elijah Henry got a taste of varsity last year, but gained more than 3,000 yards rushing on the JV team and is a special talent. He’s joined in the backfield by Justice Styron, who was the team’s second-leading rusher last year with 431 yards. Those two will be joined by Nygle Farmer and Bryson Adams and all will get plenty of touches in the Raven run game. […]

By |August 30th, 2015|Around Town, Arts, Featured Posts, Good deeds, History|0 Comments

Rocky River Game Week 2


Who: Rocky River (0-1) hosts Berry (1-0)

When: 7 p.m.

Last Meeting: Berry won, 49-0, in the team’s only other match-up on September 3, 2010

Key Players: Rocky River: quarterback Tyshawn Carter, running backs Elijah Henry, Justice Styron and Nygle Farmer, receiver/defensive back Kendall Lewis, receiver Johari Alexander, lineman Bryson Adams, defensive back Tyrell Robinson, linebacker Larry Blanton; Berry: quarterback/tight end Bryan Digsby, receiver/safety Mike Roberts, receiver Kusegi Cureton, receiver/defensive back Gary Williams, running back Malik Brown, defensive backs Josh Barrett and Cameron Porter and lineman Jovaughn Gwyn

The Keys: This is the battle of two teams that could possibly be beginning uncharacteristic seasons. Berry hasn’t won its first two games since 2011, which was the last time they had a winning record. The Ravens opened last year 0-2, but rebounded to finish 9-5, so another loss isn’t the end of the world but certainly not the way they want to start 2015.

Rocky River:  The troubling thing about the Ravens 34-7 loss to perennial power Richmond wasn’t just the score. Coach Jason Fowler always runs a balanced, attacking offense, but last week his patented running game struggled – a potentially cautious tale and definitely something to look for in Week 2. Running behind a nearly entirely rebuilt offensive line, the Ravens mustered just 28 yards on 37 carries and that’s worrisome.  […]

By |August 30th, 2015|Around Town, Featured Posts, Good deeds, Rocky River High School, Sports|0 Comments

Independence Game Week 2


By Andrew Stark

Who: Independence (0-1) hosts Scotland (1-0)

When: 7 p.m.

Last Meeting: Independence won, 20-7, on Nov. 29, 2002

Key Players: Independence: quarterback Christian McPhail, running back Quantavious McGill, cornerback/receivers Elijah Small and Cedric Stone, linebackers Tylon Clawson, Jerome Cochran and Rob Casanova, defensive ends Christian Colon and Kima Bell; Scotland: running back Zamir White, quarterback Sergio Gibson, receiver Ryan Leak and Ty’Quan McNealy, linebackers Jonathan Smith and Mitchell Smith, defensive backs Ahmed Monley and Manny Smith, defensive end Tony Smith, Jr.

The Keys: Last week was a very uncharacteristic week for the proud Patriots as they were drubbed 58-6 by Mallard Creek, a team ranked in the top 50 of nearly every national poll. Independence hasn’t suffered a loss like that since Vance shut them out in 2012 and haven’t begun a season 0-2 since 2010 when they went just 3-8. They need to rebound in a hurry, but Scotland is no slouch and is coming off its own impressive win with a 47-25 victory over South View. […]

Football Preview: Independence Patriots

Andrew Stark

Opening Act

The Patriots returned to their dominating form of the early to mid 2000s last year and parlayed their first conference title in years into an undefeated regular season and state championship aspirations. Those dreams were shattered with a second round loss to Hough, but new coach Justin Hardin has a track record of success and inherits a talented roster hungry to prove 2104 was just the beginning.


The offense returns just one starter in running back Quantavious McGill, but he’s a good one. McGill got stronger as the year went on and became the Patriots’ lead back. As a junior, McGill gained more than 1,000 rushing yards and scored 16 touchdowns despite sharing carries. This year, he likely gets more of the workload and is in line for a huge year.

Quarterback Christian McPhail started one game last year and threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns during the year. The bad news is McPhail threw three interceptions, completed just over 50 percent of his passes and isn’t the runner of Kelvin Hopkins, Independence’s star last year who accounted for more than 2,600 yards of offense and 39 touchdowns in 2014. […]